ON this Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, celebrated this year on January 7, we are reminded of the constant presence and manifestation of our Lord in everything in our life and in the world in general. We should be quick to capture this reality that obviously will require of us a lot of faith, and more than faith, a lot of love for God, which will always be translated in our love for the others.
In this regard, we should try to imitate the example of the 3 magi who, in spite of the effort and difficulty involved in looking for the “new-born king of the Jews,” did everything to carry out that search. They were given, of course, a guiding star which disappeared at a certain point when some danger was involved. But they still proceeded until they finally saw the child. (cfr. Mt 2,1-12)
The significance of the Epiphany of the Lord lies in the fact that we should develop an innate desire to look for Christ in everything in our life. It should be a desire fueled by faith, hope and love and supported by an effective plan of practices that will put the intentions to reality, the desires to actuality.
We need to examine what our strongest desire is. Is it for God or is it simply the things of this world? Unless we have this fundamental and abiding desire for God, all our desiring would be vain and futile. We need to realize this truth of our faith, and do our best to cultivate such desire in our life.
It may not be easy, given our human condition, limited as it is by our nature and handicapped further by the effects of sin, ours and those of others. But once we know this truth of our faith, we can always do something about this challenge.
To be sure, God, on his part, has already given us everything. The ball is actually in our court. We just have to pick up the means and start the ball rolling. To begin, we can make many acts of faith, hope and charity.
St. Augustine expressed this truth of faith very clearly: “The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire.” This assertion is certainly based on what God himself said: “Seek my face” (Ps 27,8), and on what Christ said: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt 6,33)
St. Augustine said that since we don’t see heaven now and yet we long for it, we need to keep on desiring it to prepare ourselves for it. That desire not only has to be maintained. It also has to increase as time passes. The time of our life, the time of waiting to see our ultimate end, God, is a time to cultivate our holy desire to the max.
His argument for this is beautiful. “Suppose you are going to fill some container and you know you will be given a large amount. Then you set about stretching your container.” It is to make room for the tremendous amount we will receive—God himself.
The idea of stretching or enlarging the container to receive a tremendous amount that we expect can be translated into not only keeping but also increasing our desire of God whom we expect to come to us in overwhelming abundance. In short, we have to make that desire fervent! We need to constantly feed it to keep it burning.